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by susie on 23 November 2017 - 18:11

Centurian, I didn't even comment on the dog besides BE telling that I like him.
I simply struggled about your comments about "capping drives", "self control/discipline" and the possible amount of thinking in dogs, not more, not less.
I think it would be more beneficial to tell people why dogs behave like they do instead of humanizing their behavior, and be it with words only.
Out of your descriptions your training sounds like "normal" training, for me it's about your explanations.
Guess I am too German...

by Koots on 23 November 2017 - 18:11

I believe that if you teach the "heir" command properly, it does not matter where the dog is in comparison to you - the dog understands what he is supposed to do. Then it is a matter of compliance of the dog, which is influenced by drives and motivation.

by Centurian on 23 November 2017 - 23:11

Koots ,,, What you write has some merit. Yes , taught properly , in the finality of the learning .. yes should not matter when you call a dog , it should come. Yes with proper teaching that is correct.

However ... what is not entirely correct is not where the dog is to you... that is thinking like a human . I do my best to think 'dog' and that means getting into the mind of the dog. So , what is different : is where you are in comparison to the dog, from the dog's point of view. That is : what the dog sees. This is like looking from the inside out as opposed,  in life , seeing something from the outside , inward. I stress : we have to look through the eyes and mind of the dog . Even with people , that outside /in  vs  inside/out views , offers different perpspectives. So when you call the dog , what is important is how the dog sees you . I comment on this because I am always trying to look into the dog so that I can effectively communicate and make the teaching clear and precise. . I described this  accurately :  the way the dog sees the scenario of coming to us . This is a fact, not an observation or an opinion . If we are at a different angle from the dog.. that is exactly what the dog sees, a different context involving a seperate different variable in each of those 3 angle cases. I repeat , in the learning process , contextually , these angles to ccome to you are are learned. However, I agree with you , in the final , complete scheme of teaching the hier/come , those varaibles should no longer matter to the dog .  A little off topic.. this reminds me of a person who had a dog and complained about not swimming. I said to the person in short , yes dogs can swim , but swimming is a learned behavior. The dog may be genetically capable , but behaviors are learned , unless they are autonomic reflex responses. Each angle of approach , to a person,  from a dog , is a learned experience , when teaching a recall.  I pontifiate about  this because in order for me to train my dog , this notion of understanding what the dog is thinking is important because it impacts our dogs  our dogs. 

Some dogs learn real fast, others not as fast. And don't forget , our body language at times helps dogs navigate and problem solve. One body posturing can be a sign of encouragement to a dog carrying also the meaning  ' that is right , you are correct , keep coming' . Sometimes this subtleness in communication is disguised and one thinks 'oh , the dog knows this ' , when in fact the dog was actually in the process of problem solving and had success . Then with that 1 success , repeats the same behavior a second time. Meaning that coming from a diferent angle is a learning process nonetheless. Quite often , I write that the handler is 50% of the equation in working with dogs. Perhaps one can appreciate in the learning process and the working process , how much weight this notion carries and to the great degree that this is true.
To come to handler from three different angles are three distinctive different contexts to a dog. But again you are right in the end the dog must learn to come from anywhere. 

by Centurian on 24 November 2017 - 02:11

Susie .. Hopefully you will understand that man and dogs are both animals , and hopefully you will realize that we are alike and at the same exact time we are very different . Additionally you will also realize that they do think and feel and that learning principles apply to both dog and human the same. Maybe then perhaps you will understand my way or wording matters. Why I say what I say. I am not anthropormorphising about dogs. I see things from the dog' point of view and from a behavioral point of view.

Almost 30 years ago the University of Maine in the USA , did research . They wanted to know and get better understanding about the effect of the most early experience in growth and development in children. They used canines as models. Bottom line and result of studying newborn puppies in litters of the course of time : They found such things as the need of the pup to stay with the mother in the pack for the best nuturing and that the best optimal time for the pup to be placed that would be suited to the pup is 7.5/ 8 weeks after birth. How this time also affects the socialization process. Aside for the benefit for breeders to know this , they extrapolated this information to humans. That is how closely linked humans and dogs are, that even scientists study canines to better understand human behavior. So , being alike and similar does not mean exactly the same. And where there are differences there quite often are similarities . A dog is very very much like a human yet at the same time very different. I feel if you want to really understand the dog and understand about canines , best to understand this. So , I am not humanizing their behavior as you think I am .... now I acknowledge that you may careless about my nposts. .. maybe someone else will pick up some value in this comment.


by susie on 24 November 2017 - 08:11

Now it´s getting weird...

" Susie .. Hopefully you will understand that man and dogs are both animals , and hopefully you will realize that we are alike and at the same exact time we are very different . "


Did you even READ my posts? Are you sure you are talking to me?

Some of my posts:

Page 4: "Humans are the most intelligent mammals on earth, but even our behavior is highly based on instincts, drives, and temperament..."

"Just for clarifiation - I don´t doubt dogs are able to "think" ( different than humans, maybe in parts like a toddler ), but by far not abstract enough to develop self discipline or self control. "

Page 8: "Not being mean" .. but really centurian, when you really read my posts for a while, you should be aware that I am a firm believer of nature and nurture -

the dog in front of you"

It´s one thing to disagree but it´s kind of frustrating when the other part doesn´t even dare to read.
You are right, maybe someone else will pick up some value in this comment.

by susie on 24 November 2017 - 08:11


by susie on 24 November 2017 - 10:11

But thank you for your last post :) I highlighted the interesting parts for you ( and for the "general reader" ).

"Almost 30 years ago the University of Maine in the USA , did research . They wanted to know and get better understanding about the effect of the MOST EARLY EXPERIENCE in GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT in children."


Most early experience in growth and development in children...
What age ( timeframe of the children ) did they use for comparison?
What is the scientific interpretation for "most early" ?
Instincts, drives, temperament, learning ability, socialisation?
At what point does "most early" end?
Was "thinking" involved in this study?
When the toddler is 6 months old, when the child starts to walk, when the child starts to speak?


"So , being alike and similar does not mean exactly the same. And where there are differences there quite often are similarities . A DOG IS VERY VERY MUCH LIKE A HUMAN YET AT THE SAME TIME VERY DIFFERENT."

"That is how closely linked humans and dogs are, that even scientists study canines to better understand human behavior."


No wonder, both humans and dogs are mammals.
Our instincts and drives are based on the same structures.
They could have used wild hawks, or wild wolves instead, almost all mammals that are living in social structures are comparable - might have been more valid, because the behavior of dogs is, due to their close interaction with humans for thousands of years, not that "wildlife" any more. Using different mammals would have shown the same outcome, without "human" influence.
But that´s just an idea.

What was the result of this study in case of thinking in dogs, when not based on needs, drives, instincts?
I pretty well know about the "similarities" in mammals, I want to know about the difference.
How far is a dog able to "think" , how far is a dog able to "suppress" its drives, instincts, temperament on its own, without training, and "think" ?

Edited, because I forgot:

In Relation to this topic: Does it make sense to talk about self discipline/control in a dog or not?

Should we ( the humans ) work with drives, or should we depend on the dog's ability to think?

by Centurian on 24 November 2017 - 12:11

I like when people ask me questions even when I don't have all the answers. In truthfulness. I don't remember the study word for word. But I suppose that can referenced somewhere. For me , I already had a handle on child growth and development. and understood most of theories relating to children 30 years ago . So I didn't make the effort to memorize the study word for word. In essence , what interested and mattered to me was the findings and conclusions as it relate to canine canine behavior.
But in the air at that time they were trying to find the impact on childen due to the environment and due to socialization factors. This study was more to see those aspects than specific thinking ability about dogs or children . But other sudies have been conducted concerning thiniking in ddogs and children years later , I suppose. Much was already known about children in growth and development back then , such as it is innate for a baby to recognize a smile , and a baby has depth perception early on. Cognitively ,they already knew that it takes a certain age before the child recognizes that something still exists when it is out of sight. before then ..out of sight , out of mind. And mucch more thast would fill a whole text book.

Many programs in the USA were started to aid underpriveledged children. Children that had a poor start in life. So this is one of the studies that was undertaken to see that in the growth and development of puppies what was optimal. And I now you know this : that the puppies taken away from the litter and mother much earlier did not do as well in aspects compared to the puppies that had stayed with the mother. And part of that study involved at 'what tine was most optimal for the puppy to leave' that resulted in the best adjusted puppies.
So without the lstudy and literature in hand , I do not know exactly the specific answers to your questions because as yearts pass we tend to forget . But I will add that studies like this one and most likely more studies , catapulted programs for choldren such as , " Head Start ". People in Europe , perhaps dont know head Start but people in the USA may be familair with it.

How far is a dog able to think .. good question . and I think .. we still are learning more about that. Although their brains are extraordinarily similar to ours they do not think as we do. I wrote that they can deductive reason .. fact. Dogs can easily learn a thousand words, now that takes memory , and the ability to put into memory and recall that information iwhen needed , is a thinking process. They can scent and choose and discern items , as you already know , but that is still a cognitive/ thinking process. Again a specific answer , even I would love to have.. But if i even step back and if I think : whether a person or a dog to pick a scented articel .. this is what must happen . that stimulus must be detected by specialized cells , and information is electrically passes along nervous pathways to a specific area of the brain . Within the brain , it's neurons , that infromation is assimilated and chemically stored. Until some other electrical impulse , chemical reaction takes place that triggers that information to be recalled within the brain and utilized from memory which results in other electrical impulses traveling l to the dog's motor center of the brain and nervous system sending the signal to the dog's muscles / extremities in order to retireve or indicate the incredible thinking that must take place even for a simple task. Dog and person alike

How far can a dog suppress it's drives. First we are talking a normal temperamnt dog. I would say very very far. An exact critical theshold point. I can't give you an exact quantatative point. But if we look at the dog .. I contemplate this , even police dogs , in combat .. they can out in the act of a fight. That is pretty impressive impulse control. In ring sprot we can call off the dog from a bite , having been sent at about 25-30 mph for a bite 1 meter away from the decoy , That is good self dsicipline and and impulse control . I have taught dogs not to chase squirrels , chipmuncks , prorucpines and one dog deer. that is good control also. So althat i can say is that I can get a qualifed geustimation . But I do not now.. that the instinct to survive , self predervation is the strongest and tothe pint the dog has to make a choice of do or die.. the who knows. Also I pleased that you asked . Because a Classical Conditioned Beahvior will override an Operant/Instrumental what we often do in canine rehabilitation is try to operantly condition that dog and change that conditioning to a classical conditioning. That is what we do , with a dog cahsing a rabbit. the classical response is chnaged operantly and ingrain that new behavior that it becomes as a classically conditioned response . this is what we do when we taech the dog not to chase the rabbit. Meaning that we have now changed the dog to control it's impulses.. Now to what degree we are always succesfful .. depends ...

' does self control and discipline have anything to do with this thread ' Ok ... susie .. a good , fair honest question. Now this is a subjective answer .. this is an opinion ... My feeling is that if a dog anticipates .. and acts upon that anticipation. Then I say yes . Because either the handler is not controlling the dog , or the dog is not controlling itself for whatever reason[s]. I believe that it is our duty and obligation to not only control the dog's beahvior , but having behavior under control. Anticipation can cause a dog it's life. People have lost their lives because the dog had not controlled itself and upon deciding to bail the dog out that person had not just risked his/her life , but got killed in the proces. that happend in the USA a couple of weeks ago BTW. That is my opinion.


by susie on 24 November 2017 - 13:11

So let´s forget the University of Maine. Maybe not the best example. It´s useless to discuss about something we don´t even know the fundamentals about...

About "suppressing drives" - I wasn´t talking about "trained" dogs. Trained dogs learned to behave, some with positive methods, some with negative methods, and most of them with a combination of both.

Very simply said

Classical Conditioning = learning influenced by triggers ( f.e. the hunt drive, triggered by scent, sometimes even by the area only )
Operant Conditioning = learning through praise/force, better said advantages/disadvantages ( like teaching the dog to not hunt, or teaching the policedog to behave although it wants to bite )

Both is based on drives and instincts, not on "free will" - it´s manipulation.
It´s black and white, yes and no.

by Centurian on 24 November 2017 - 15:11

Susie .... ok ..... dog's don't have a will and make choices .. whatever anyone wants to believe.... not my concern .

For other readers if you havethe interst , please if you will [ no pun intended ] , take a minute and ask yourselves these questions :

Why is it that when you have thoroughly , taught your dog to do do something, for examople "down", at times it does not ? And , what constitutes a dog being obedient and a dog being disobedient when it has been thouroughly taught ?

Why then , when we do operant conditioning during the teaching we ask the dog to make a choice you thought that you have conditioned it to do , but the dog consciously did not do it ? Why in operant condition we have the need to make a behavior that the dog choosed wrongly to do ?

Why then , if a dog is so called manipulated and /or taught something , there is a need in the colloquial express to " correct the dog " ? Dogs are not programmed computers or are they ?

I shared more than enough thoughts , I end , but if anyone the opposite thoughts that I have written and if they can fundamentally , and conceptually , factually present proof thereof, I welcome the insightfulness and will be appreciative and I will gladly change the way I think , believe and have learned. . about dogs ..
Thank God , I'm done with this conversation

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